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Military Training Set For Minneapolis Skies

Nighttime training starts Sunday.

Update 10:54 a.m. 8/28/12: In an email to Patch, Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson Sgt. William Palmer confirmed that Minneapolis residents won't be seeing any ground troops. Any ground component of these exercises is being conducted away from the public eye. Palmer later tweeted that the helicopters caused "minimal disturbance. 15 concerned callers and 2 noise complaints for a total if 17 911 calls."

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Original Story 5:45am 8/25/12: If you get surprised by a pack of military helicopters flying low over Southwest Minneapolis this week, don't panic.

It's just US Special Operations Command training, according to a press release the military organization issued, it said, "to alert residents and prevent the overload of the 911 system with concerned callers" between 7 p.m. and midnight. 

The announcement is vague as to exactly what will be going on. "Minneapolis and St Paul airspace" will be used, according to its headline, but the text of the statement notes the MH-60 Blackhawk and MH-6 Little Bird helicopters will be "supporting" the "routine urban environment training," suggesting there could be a ground component for the special forces exercises.

At least the training flights "have been coordinated with local authorities and the Federal Aviation Administration," the release said, and precautions—presumably re-routing flights, issuing Notices to Airmen—have been taken to ensure a lack of aerial fender-benders. 

No airshows are on offer, though—locations are being kept secret to keep gawking crowds at a minimum.

Have you seen the Army choppers lately? Tell us where! Post your sighting in the comments section below, preferably by saying what block you saw them flying over (e.g. the 40xx block of Lyndale Avenue South), or where you were when you saw them.

James Sanna August 27, 2012 at 10:35 PM
@Todd - What kind of "intel" are they trying to gain, though? It's much easier, more subtle, and more effective to wiretap someone by going over to the phone company and installing a tap on their central switching system. On top of that, a helicopter is a big, noisy, awkward, and highly-visible way of getting around. If you're trying to do anything surreptitious, it's not a very good platform when you could just a nondescript pannel van instead. I think you're reading the wrong things into this...
Juan American August 28, 2012 at 04:39 PM
@ James - says the author of the article
James Sanna August 28, 2012 at 04:45 PM
@Juan - And...? Military forces training overhead is news. Increased potential for helicopter accidents is news. What's your point?
Dave Timmons August 28, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Maybe Michelle Bachman is staging a coop de tot* and wants to overthrow Obama? *We all know it's spelled "Coup d'état", but Bachman doesn't.
Keira McMillen August 28, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Good grief Todd - Paranoid much?

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